Thanksgiving for Two (and what to do with the Leftovers)

Yes, I made Thanksgiving for two awesome people, one of whom who doesn’t like turkey.

Yup, I’m not a big fan of turkey.  Blasphemy!
I appreciate the meal, but turkey isn’t my favorite part.

We had several gracious offers from friends to join them at their homes, but we decided to stay in and make our own dinner and wear sweatpants. It’s what holidays are all about; sweatpants.

I was excited to create my own turkey-free menu; something simple, as there was just two of us; but still festive. To me, festive means Lobsters (thank you, New England roots).

Thanksgiving Menu for Two:
(2) 1.5lb lobsters
Fennel, Sage & Bacon Stuffing
Roasted, Spicy Sweet Potatoes
Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Cheesy Creamed  Spinach
Apple, Pear & Cheery Strudel
Beverages: Champagne all the live long day

Start to finish, this meal took less than 2 hours to prepare.
Bookmark this page for your next simple gathering (Christmas Eve anyone?) and remember: Stuffing, it’s not just for Thanksgiving.

Steamed Lobsters
IMG_7389
2 1.5lb lobsters
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tbs lemon juice

Preparation:  Purchase live lobsters from the tank at your local fish market. Bring immediately home and store in the refrigerator; they’ll keep overnight easily until you’re ready to cook them. Lobsters go into a sort of sleepy state when out of water and cool; they’re still alive but quiet; once they start to get warm, they get ornery so don’t mess with them until you’re ready to cook. Also, although tempting, DO NOT remove the rubber bands from their claws until after they are cooked. Snappy snap snap goes your finger. NOT festive.

In a large pot bring a few inches of water to a rolling boil. Add a few shakes of sea salt to the water. Lifting each lobster behind the head and claws, put head first into the pot. Once both are in the pot, immediately cover and set the timer for 9-10 minutes. You do not want to overcook your lobsters. Once the shells are bright red you’re good to go.

While the lobsters are steaming, mix your butter. Once butter is melted; skim the solids off the top so you’re only left with clear butter. Mix in a bit of lemon juice and sea salt and black pepper if you would like.

Remove lobsters from water with tongs, they will be HOT and allow to cool. Using lobster crackers or nut crackers; crack away and dunk into melted butter. Divine.
IMG_7396Sides
(quick abbreviated recipes, let me know if you need detailed instructions!)

  • My favorite Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta recipe
  • Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes (2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced. Rub with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and a few pinches of cayenne pepper. Roast on a cookie sheet at 375 for 35 minutes until centers are soft, and outsides are crisp.
  • Fennel, Sage & Bacon Stuffing (In a deep skillet, saute 2 strips of bacon until crisp. Add one onion and one fennel bulb, both peeled and diced. Cook with salt and pepper until soft. Add 1/2 of a 12oz package of Pepperidge Farm Sage and Onion stuffing mix, 1 packet of fresh sage (diced). Toss together until coated. Stir in 1.5 cups of chicken broth. Pour into a greased casserole dish, cover and bake for 20 minutes at 350, uncover and bake for 5.
  • Cheesy Creamed Spinach (Defrost 1 10oz package of spinach with a little bit of water in a saucepan until the spinach is hot and almost all the water has evaporated. In a small skillet, melt 1 tbs of butter, add 2 tbs flour to make a roux. Whisk in 1 to 1.5 cups of milk, until smooth and creamy, add a pinch of nutmeg and a dash of salt and pepper. Slowly stir in 2 ounces of sharp cheddar or gouda cheese. Pour the sauce over the spinach and stir thoroughly. Add salt/pepper to taste here.

IMG_7393

  • Apple, Pear and Cherry Strudel  (1 sheet puff pastry, thawed. 1 granny smith apple, 1 pear and 1 small gala apple, all peeled and diced. Toss with 1 tb lemon juice, 3 tbs brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg and just a pinch of salt. Pour apple mix down the center of puff pastry mix, fold over calzone-style, slit a few holes for steam to escape.Lay on a greased cookie sheet. Lightly brush with egg wash and bake at 350 for 25 minutes until golden brown.

IMG_7398

NOW…since its a few days later – what to do with LEFTOVERS?
Glad you asked. Inspiration below:

  • Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta: This makes a delicious hash for eggs or is divine stirred into cooked pasta.
  • Fennel, Sage & Stuffing: I love the idea of making a “Stuffing-Ball soup”, like a Matzoh Ball soup. Gently pulse leftover cold stuffing in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl, stir in a beaten egg. Shape the stuffing into large (baseball size) balls. Bring a pot of chicken broth to a boil, add balls and cook through. Top with shredded turkey and some fresh parsley.
  • Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Re-heat in a skillet and add a diced apple and you have my Sweet Potato, Apple & Smokey Bacon Hash. OR add the squash to a stockpot with some veggie broth, bring to a boil and blend with a hand-blender for an easy pureed soup. Season with a dash of curry powder or sage and thyme.
  • Cheesy, Creamed Spinach: Re-heat in a saucepan, add a bit more shredded cheese and some drained quartered artichoke hearts and you have Spinach & Artichoke dip for football game watching, serve with crudite or sliced baguette.
  • Apple, Pear and Cherry Strudel. There should not be leftovers.

Need more LEFTOVERS inspiration? Dayam, girl, how big was your dinner?

Happy Holiday Weekend friends!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s